Access control can be considered as the starting point of human security. Development in the field of access control over the years has been slow but steady. However, the pace of developments and innovations in the field has seen exponential growth in the last two decades. Simple mechanical locks have grown into access cards and fingerprint scanning and identification. Even a person's very face has become their medium of access to a location. Even now, the number of possibilities for further development in the field keeps on increasing.
In the same way, the pace of development in ways to bypass the access control measures seems to be proportional to that of access control. As soon as a lock was made, a lock pick was created. As soon as passwords were created, methods of hacking them were designed. As soon as fingerprint scanning was developed, ways to imitate a person's fingerprint were found. Such bypassing methods evolved to the point that even facial recognition is not a reliable method of access control today. However, these are not the only challenges in the field of access control. A way to handle a large amount of data generated by access control systems is still required. There is also a need for mobility and methods to access data and resources from any place in the world in case of emergency.
Consequently, countermeasures for every bypass method are also in development. This approach is leading to the development and innovations of even new forms of access control. Utilization of technologies like big data and cloud services allow organizations to handle and analyze the vast amounts of data generated by the access control systems. Integration of said systems with Internet of Things(IoT) provides the required mobility to the systems. This integration allows organizations to access data and resources from any point in the world. Use of data analytics, machine learning and predictive analytics enables not only to monitor and mitigate threats but detect and prevent threats altogether. Many solution providers are even working to combine multiple forms of access control methods to create Multi-Factor Authentication(MFA) techniques. One example of said techniques is biometric signatures. For those who prefer offline methods, locks are designed that contain auto-lock and tracking capabilities.
Such developments and innovations result in a market with solution and service providers who specialize in different aspects of access control. This makes it difficult for business organizations to select the one solution providers that will cater to their specific requirements. To help them make a sound decision, Enterprise Security Magazine with its panel of CEOs, CIOs, VCs, and analysts, along with CIOReview Magazine editorial board presents "Top 10 Access Control Solution Providers".